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 Fetal screening 
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:30 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Fetal screening
A while ago I was watching a debate on TV. It was about whether or not doctors should screen fetuses for genetic disorders. Also where to draw the line for which disorders parents should be informed. At this point the cutoff is at Downs syndrome because it's considered severe enough and there are methods to screen for it.

The debate was brought about because a new method for screening is being developed. It's possible to extract fetal cells from the mothers blood and screen those, it's safe and in a few years they´ll be able to separate the cells accurately. The ethical implications of this on the medical profession were pondered.

As I was watching this I was thinking: So all you need is a little blood from the mother, and with the DNA from the fetal cells in that blood you can check for pretty much anything you´d want?

So why do those people think that´s a doctors job exactly?

When the technology works, aren´t the parents just gonna get the fetal genome sequenced and google it?

If people are paying 23andme 1000 dollars to get interesting parts of their genome sequenced from spit today. What would parents pay to send a little of the mothers blood to get the offspring sequenced? And whatever that price is, Moores law says in 18 months it will cost half. There will be a demand.

Genetics is falling out of the domain of specialists but I don´t think they have been told yet.


Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:53 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:00 am
Posts: 52
Post Re: Fetal screening
The sceening can start with the parents. To check if both of them share some recessive gene which can cause trouble.

Maybe it's one of the first things you'd want to do before you get serious with someone.

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Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:43 pm
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